Common Stretching Myths: Are Some of them True?
Updated: Nov 9
Stretching is believed as one of the most important things to do especially during workouts. However, did you know that there are many “benefits of stretching” that are just really stretching myths? That is why in this blog, you will learn the stretching fact so you can have the right purpose as to why you should do stretching and not for the wrong reasons.
However, the first thing you should know before the myths is the difference between flexibility and mobility. One fact about flexibility is that it is your body’s ability to move your joints without pain in a specific motion range. Whereas, mobility refers to your capacity to perform movements without having any limitations with your motion range. With that, you need flexibility, strength, control, and balance in order to have mobility.
Myth: Stretching Prevents Injuries
Though there have been studies supporting that static stretching can improve your flexibility, post exercises and stretching before gym doesn’t guarantee you from avoiding injuries. Static stretching is the common stretches that we all know and traditionally do before and after doing our gym workout. Yes, it might improve your flexibility, but that doesn’t lessen the risk of injury. So whether you stretch or not stretch, the possibility of experiencing an injury is the same. It is better strength and good balance that contribute more so to the propensity of having an injury.
Myth: Stretching Lengthens Your Tendons and Muscles
Another muscle confusion myth is that stretching will help you lengthen your tendons and muscles. Simple muscle stretches won’t be able to give you that. However, you can lengthen your muscles and tendons by casting that certain part in a very stretched position for a certain period of time. Yes, that will possibly make your muscles longer but there are many more negative effects of that to your body because of immobilization which is not worth the try.
Myth: You Should Do a Stretch Before a Sports Game
This is probably the most famous myth about stretching. There are still many debates about this, according to an NCBI study it shows that doing a static muscle stretch a few moments before performing a sport will decrease the efficiency of your performance in that sport. When stretching your muscles before lifting, your stretched muscles loses about 5% of strength. Also, stretching can reduce the explosiveness and power of your performance in the court/field that you are playing.
What are the Facts About Stretching?
With all those surprising stretching myths, below are some stretching facts that you should know so you have the right knowledge about the benefits and essence of stretching.
There are other ways that you can improve your flexibility other than stretching like myofascial release and foam rolling. Both can improve your flexibility without having any negative effect on your performance.
Stretching can help you reduce the pain in your joints which will train your body to do more bending, movements, squats, and so on.
Post-exercise stretches are best done 8-10 hours after the workout. It can help you identify the parts in your body that are feeling some tightness. Also, it is a good way to avoid muscle stiffness after a very intensive workout training.